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HTML Tutorial

5. Special characters

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The underlying markup of a webpage typically contains many more ampersand characters (i.e. &) than appear in the rendered output. This is because the & character is part of the way in which HTML marks up 'special' characters, i.e. ones that would otherwise be understood by HTML to relate to markup. In HTML, each special character is preceded by an ampersand, followed by the HTML markup name for that character followed by a semicolon. Perhaps the most common special characters are:

Special character


HTML code




space (technically a ‘non-breaking’ space)

(e.g. as in Hello   again)

  (e.g. as in Hello   again)

less than sign


greater than sign


quotation mark







A fuller list of HTML special characters is available here.


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